I love my Vita, or at least I used to. I’m still fairly fond of it, but “love” is a strong word given my frustration with a recent event. I’ve stood by the handheld even as many people declared it dead even within the first year of its lifespan. The Vita is a well-designed system, albeit one that Sony left for dead as soon as it hit its first bump in the road. If it weren’t for a couple negative quirks, it might have even been one of the best handhelds ever made. Unfortunately, those quirks have turned into awful problems as of late, and have only served to tarnish the legacy of what has otherwise been an excellent cult system.
Everyone knows that the proprietary memory card format is an issue that has plagued the system from the start. About a year ago, I went through all the trouble of importing a 64GB Vita memory card because I like to future proof my systems, and as the PSP’s lifespan was ending, I invested in as many Pro Duos as I could.
Unfortunately, NA retailers decided to give Vita owners the middle finger, and by that point Vita memory cards could only be imported from Japan. After spending $130CAD, I ended up waiting till well past the expected delivery period, and even asked for a refund as by that point a month had passed since any tracking info had been updated. I ultimately retracted on that refund as that’s when the memory card finally arrived. It’s hard to believe all the money and trouble I went through for the smallest piece of plastic.
I was willing to give the system a pass and write off the memory card cost as part of owning a high-maintenance system, but I have had one too many incidents that have soured my opinion on the Vita even more. I’m talking about digital content simply not working, and it has become more of an issue than I thought possible. A good while ago, I bought one of those stupid Fort Defense titles to kill some time, only to find that it didn’t work. At that time I decided to cut my losses as it was only $4, and hardly worth the time it would take to contact tech support to resolve the issue. Thankfully, that was the only issue I ever had with digital content not working on the Vita, until recently.
I waited patiently for Shantae: Half Genie Hero: Pirate Queen’s Quest to release. A while back I ordered a physical copy of the base game off of Amazon as it came in a nice box with a soundtrack included. As the PS4 version was sold out, I counted my blessings that the Vita version was an option, and as I played all previous entries in the Shantae series on the 3DS, I think the series feels more at home on a handheld. The base game works just fine, and I’m thankful I got the opportunity to play it on a system I often neglect in favour of my PS4.
Fast forward to the day when Pirate Queen’s Quest finally released, and my elation turned into disappointment. Instead of spending a morning playing the DLC I had been waiting months for, I spent it on a live chat with PlayStation tech support, bouncing from one attendant to another. To add insult to injury, options for tech support include PS3, PS4 and PS Vue, but not the Vita. The DLC simply did not work, and all tech support could manage was convincing me to delete Half Genie Hero and effectively erase my data from the main campaign, once I was passed off to someone who could help me with a Vita issue, that is. They offered me a refund, which I took and applied to the PS4 version of the DLC, which I had to buy the base game for, just so I could finally play Pirate Queen’s Quest.
Why it didn’t work on the Vita is beyond me, but I am going to be wary of investing in the Vita version of titles with DLC going forward. I’m not happy that I had to buy another version of the game just to enjoy the content I’m entitled to as a paying customer, but that’s a big strike for the Vita. I will go ahead and invest in a Vita copy of the upcoming Danganronpa V3 as that’s how I played all previous entries in that series, but I think I’ll lean toward the PS4 for all future PS4/Vita multiplats.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I own a Vita, and I have always wanted to have a cult system. All of Sony’s systems up until the Vita have been too successful to be labeled as such, and I do think the Vita is highly underrated. However, there are legit issues that have plagued the system since launch, and I have recently run into one that has tarnished its legacy for me. I still think it’s a solid system for enthusiasts of Japanese and indie games, and it’s a fairly slick and well designed handheld. I just wish it wasn’t incompatible with so much DLC that it’s supposed to be compatible with. Oh, and the proprietary memory cards still suck (yes, it needed to be mentioned one more time).
What are your thoughts on the Vita? Have you experienced any technical issues with digital content? As always, feel free to leave your comments below.
Trevor Ross has been an avid gamer since the age of four. Now he owns more games than he will ever have time to play, numbering in the hundreds. He has made his peace with this fact however, and simply cannot resist adding to his collection, especially when he can get games for a good price.